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The basics
China: Career Prospects - Must read

Finding a graduate career in China

How do you find a job in China once you graduate if you’re an international student? Can you even stay in the country to begin with? Find out now...

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What’s the job market like?

The economy in China has never been stronger, meaning the opportunities are ample for jobseekers. Having said this, competition is fierce, so it’s good to ascertain what makes you stand out from other applicants within your chosen field of work. Many large multinational companies like HSBC, Microsoft, Airbus and IBM have offices in China which actively look for employees with international backgrounds, great news for international graduates like you!

Which areas are most in demand?

As well as the companies mentioned above, other growing industries in China are consumer products, telecommunications, textiles, mining, pharmaceuticals and transportation to name but a few. The country also has a notable shortage of workers in engineering, medical, IT, environmental technology, production and tourism.


Can I work in China once I graduate?

Working in China can be a bit tricky for international students and you are not permitted to work during your studies. After graduating you could apply for a work visa (known as the Z visa) which requires a minimum of two years work experience. However, in some cases there can be exceptions, such as on the Teach in China scheme which recruits English language teachers to the country on 12 month programmes. You can find more information on this scheme here.

Tips on getting a graduate job in China:

  • Learn the Chinese business culture ahead of any interviews – Business in China is very different to anywhere else in the world. ‘Face’ is a hugely important aspect which means the concept of being in control and respectful. It’s crucial that you familiarise yourself with Chinese etiquette to give yourself the best possible chance and avoid any awkward misunderstandings!
  • Start your job search by looking for international companies with offices in China
  • Brush up on your Mandarin skills. Take a language course if you don’t feel confident. Being comfortable in the language will help you gain the trust of your colleagues and it shows a commitment to the culture and way of life.
  • Be punctual. As we already mentioned, ‘face’ is hugely important and that also means first impressions. Make sure you familiarise yourself with the route to your interview and arrive in plenty of time.
  • Speak to your Chinese friends for advice. They will be able to share their own experiences with you and provide an insider’s perspective on how to do well in the workplace in China.


Useful sites for finding a job in China: